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Tag Archives: Irish Traditional Music

The Ashplant (Edor)

The term “ash plant” or “ashplant” was once a very common term, and still is in some places.  It is a euphemism used by the young and the old.  For the young it is a teacher’s stick which would be used to point out important locations on a map, to remind students of something written […]

Carraroe (D)

This light-hearted jig is a member of a large family which includes “The Blue Bonnets Over the Border,” “The Scotsman Over the Border,” “Mist on the Meadow,” and “The Mist in the Glen,” among many others.  The co. Limerick fiddler Martin Mulvihill (1919-1987) called this “The Portrowe Jig” in his First Collection of Traditional Irish Music […]

Last Night’s Fun (D)

While there are a handful of tunes known by this name, one being the slip jig better known as “Wink and She’ll Follow,” this reel is the one best known as “Last Night’s Fun,” though it will sometimes be called “Joe Cooley’s No. 1” since it was popularized by the great co. Galway accordion player […]

Broken Pledge (Ddor)

The reel “Broken Pledge” is played in a number of different settings.  It’s often in Ddor, a somewhat rare mode for tunes in ITM, but also shows up in Dmix, in D Ionian, as well as mixtures of these, and much more unusually in Eaeol and Amix. The cryptic title is a matter of some […]

Humours of Bahrain (G)

This is a polka written by the prolific tune-composer and accordion player Paddy O’Brien (1922-1991) of Nenagh, co. Tipperary (pictured right).  The name is common enough, and so don’t confuse our man here with others, such as the other Paddy O’Brien (b. 1945) from Castlebarnagh, co. Offaly, who also plays a two-row button accordion. The […]

Anderson’s Reel (D)

This reel is named for the Sligo piper Michael J. Anderson (1865-1947), who would eventually be called “Piper Anderson.” He was a flute player until he emigrated to the States as a teenager, where he learned to play and make the uilleann pipes.  His home, at 1459 Amsterdam Ave., New York City,  became a popular gathering […]

Miss Monaghan (D)

This reel is one of many that were named for young women.  The practice was common in the nineteenth century when all the music that was played, and all the music that had ever been played, was played by living breathing human beings. Though there was the occasional concert, music was most commonly heard in […]

Sally Gardens (G)

This is a lively reel at sessions when it’s played, but you might find that it’s thought to be somewhat threadbare at some sessions. Sometimes it’s good to shelve a tune for a while to give it time to re-germinate.  Anyway our tune here bears no relation to the William Butler Yeats poem, or to the […]

The Brosna Slide #1 (G)

I learned this slide as “The Brosna,” as have many others.  However, many years ago I learned another slide called “The Brosna,” and then came to find still other slides called “The Brosna.” The fact that there are many tunes by this name is probably due to the playing of the Brosna Céili Band from […]

Plains of Boyle (D)

Often called “The Wexford” by pipers, the hornpipe “Plains of Boyle” used to often be played in the set “Plains of Boyle > Leitrim Fancy” at the beginning of the twentieth century.  You can hear a snippet of a 78rpm recording from 1924 of the piper Michael J. Gallagher playing the tune in that set. […]